Financial Literacy Month 2020 is already underway, and as you can imagine, it’s a busy time for us at Credit Canada. In fact, we’ve now dedicated ourselves to a 365-day effort to elevate credit education and ensure that all Canadians have access to free resources all year round! So what is Financial Literacy Month, and why has it become more important than ever?
What is Financial Literacy Month?
Financial Literacy Month in Canada is recognized annually every November to highlight the importance of financial literacy, and it is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. During this month, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), members of our team, and other financial leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors come together to make a difference for all Canadians by giving them the financial tools they need for success, whether that’s budgeting know-how, money tips and insight, or advice on managing (and eliminating) debt.
So what is the definition of financial literacy? Investopedia describes it as “the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing.”
Why is Financial Literacy Month Important?
Canadian household debt has been steadily increasing, which is always a troubling sign. However, in the wake of COVID-19, things have only gotten worse. The Canadian COVID Wake-up Call, an Angus Reid study of 1,500 Canadians that Credit Canada sponsored, revealed that of those Canadians receiving assistance, nearly two-in-five (39%) have no idea what they’ll do when the support runs out. This uncertainty is most prevalent among those aged 35-54 (44%).
Overall, one-in-four Canadians (24%) have used income supports (government assistance, CERB, EI, etc.) and one-in-ten (9%) have used payment deferrals (car, mortgage, rent, lines of credit, credit cards, etc.) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For those without a debt management plan, now is the time to put one in place,” said Keith Emery, Co-CEO of Credit Canada. “When government supports and payment deferrals come to a complete halt, the financial counselling network will reach beyond its critical mass if everyone waits until the last minute to get help.”
Financial Literacy Month Events
Throughout Financial Literacy Month, organizations from across the country will be hosting events and sharing resources in order to help Canadians understand their finances and empowering them to:
- manage their money and debt
- save for the future
- understand their financial rights and responsibilities
A complete list of Financial Literacy Month activities and resources offered by Canadian organizations is available in the Canadian Financial Literacy Database. Don’t worry, if some of the events that interest you have already been held, you can likely download resources related to the topic.
Financial Literacy Month 2020 Webinars
After looking through the Canadian Financial Literacy Database, here are a couple of specific webinars you may be interested in attending:
November 19, 2020 | Hosted by Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
This free webinar is for students and recent graduates (as well as parents and teachers working with youth) interested in learning more about managing their money, featuring tips on budgeting, savings, investing, fraud prevention, and how to avoid debt.
December 7, 2020 | Hosted by Credit Canada
We weren’t kidding about offering year-round support! This free 30-minute webinar is geared toward Canadians who have fallen on hard times and want to know how they can get back to where they were before the pandemic took over their lives.
Is There a Financial Literacy Month for Kids?
Financial Literacy Month is for everyone, including children. This is a great time to teach children of any age about managing money, budgeting, and avoiding debt. TD Bank has some good financial literacy month tips for kids on their website, broken out into age groups, that we recommend checking out.
In addition, we’ve written numerous blogs and a guide on the topic that you may want to review before sitting down with your child:
- Teaching Your Kids About Money at Any Age
- Money Management Tips for Generation Z
- Guide to Kids and Money
Credit Counsellors Are Here to Help!
A recent 2020 Canadian Got Debt? Survey revealed that there’s a lot of confusion about where to turn for financial advice and help. According to the survey, 37% have no idea what to do if they are struggling with debt or have hit rock bottom.
When asked what their greatest challenge was when seeking debt assistance, ~70% of respondents said it was a perceived lack of ongoing financial education, lack of transparency about fees, and a lack of transparency around motives.
At Credit Canada, we are a not-for-profit organization with more than 50 years of experience helping Canadians, so you can be confident that we have only your best interests at heart.
We are dedicated to providing free help and support, and provide other programs at a minimal cost to you, which we are very upfront about. So let’s talk. We’re here for you during Financial Literacy Month and all-year-round!